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Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Google launched question hub for US publishers

Google Question Hub, accessible at questionhub.withgoogle.com, is now open for US-based publishers to sign up for. In 2018, Google launched Question Hub in regions where the company found it did not have enough content in its search index to answer searchers’ questions.

Google then started showing this box to searchers last year but told us it was for COVID related queries, but it was much broader than COVID queries.

What is Question Hub? Google says “Question Hub is a tool that enables creators to create richer content by leveraging unanswered questions. Question Hub collects these unanswered user questions and surfaces them to bloggers, writers, and content creators like you.”

It is basically a way for Google to enable searchers to tell it that the search results provided are not answering the query. Then, Google takes those questions and feeds them to publishers, who, in turn, can create content that does answer the query.

Now available to US publishers. Previously, Google launched Question Hub in 2018 for publishers in India (Hindi, English), Indonesia (Bahasa Indonesia), and Nigeria (English). Google has updated its FAQs to say it is now available also in the United States for English.

I tried it, and yes, I am able to access it for sites I have verified in Google Search Console.

What it looks like. Here are some screenshots of the tool, but if you want more screenshots, I posted a lot more on my personal blog.

Find questions that searchers want answers to in Question Hub
Create content and submit the URL of that content that answers the question
You can see how well that content performs in Google Search

Why we care. This can be an excellent way for publishers to identify content that searchers are looking for, but do not find useful search results for in Google.

In my case, I searched for Google Search-related topics that searchers could not find answers for and I was able to find a list of questions (as you see from the above screenshots) of content I can create that may solve some searchers’ questions.

Now that this is open to US publishers, many new publishers now have access to this treasure trove of information

How to Add Google AdSense Ads on WordPress AMP Pages

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to add AdSense ads on AMP pages when running WordPress websites or blogs. Google AdSense is a program that allows webmasters and anyone who runs a website or blog to earn income by adding AdSense ads to their pages. When your users visit your pages and interact with ads on your pages, you get a chance to earn some money from these ads. The more users you have, the more you may be able to earn. It is easy to put AdSense ads units on regular WordPress pages. To do that, simply copy the ads unit provided when you logon to your AdSense account and create a new ad unit. Then paste the codes on any of your pages and in no time, ads should begin appearing. However, if you’re running AMP pages, the process isn’t that simple. To add AdSense on AMP pages, you’ll have to do it differently. The AMP Project is an open-source initiative that aims to make the web faster. If you’re running a WordPress blog or website and want to rank better in search engine result pages, you may want to enable AMP for your pages. If you can’t turn on AMP for your sites, then make sure that your sites run faster when compare to others. Step 1: Install WordPress AMP Plugin A simple way to enable AMP pages for WordPress sites that are running themes not built on AMP standard is to install a recommended AMP plugin called AMP. The AMP plugin for WordPress supports fully integrated AMP publishing for WordPress sites, with robust capabilities and granular publisher controls. After installing the plugin, activate it and separate AMP pages will be created for your site. Option 1: Get AdSense Ads for AMP After installing WordPress AMP plugin, go to your AdSense account and enable AMP ads.. Turn on Auto ads for AMP and Google will automatically show ads on all the AMP sites in your account. Just add 2 pieces of code to each AMP site that you want ads to appear. AdSense AMP Ads After enabling AMP ads in AdSense, you will be provided two pieces of codes to add to you site. One to be added to your AMP header and the other in the body. Copy the first piece of code that looks similar to the one below: Then go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins ==> Plugin Editor AdSense AMP Plugin Then select AMP plugin and open the html-start-php page. AdSense AMP unit Paste the code inside the and section of the page as shown below: Next, copy the second piece of code and paste into the body section of your AMP pages.. In the same html-start-php page paste the code in the body section as shown below: Save the page and exit After saving the page, ads should begin showing on your WordPress AMP pages after few minutes. Option 2: Add AMP Code via Theme Function Because WordPress plugins are frequently updated, and all changes to the plugins will be lost after updating, it’s recommended that you add AMP code via WordPress theme’s function.php file. To add AdSense AMP header and body code via WordPress theme function, go to WordPress Dashboard ==> Appearance ==> Theme Editor. Then select the current theme, and open the function.php file. When the file opens, copy the two pieces of codes into the file and save. AMP Header code add_action('amp_post_template_head','adsense_amp_head'); function adsense_amp_head($amp_template) { ?> //Paste AdSense AMP header code here //Paste AdSense AMP body code here

Monday, October 26, 2020

Why you shouldn't buy backlinks?

Buying backlinks is a practice which you may have heard of, but you might not know whether you should do it. Buying backlinks is a Black Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) technique — a way of cheating or misleading Google and other search engines so that your website is ranked higher than it deserves to. If you buy backlinks directly, you’re not doing off-page SEO right. If you pay for a service which helps you to generate exposure, awareness of your brand, and backlinks, that’s a little different. The idea that you can buy quality backlinks is also a popular one, but a backlink which is paid for directly has little to no quality in eyes of most search engines. Why You Should Not Buy Backlinks It’s a practice seen less and less on the internet, but directly paying for someone to link to your website is still done in some dark corners of the internet. Ever seen this advert before? Or perhaps something like it? Advertisement to buy high domain authority links Avoid this pop-up ad like the plague! This is the essence of black hat SEO. If there was ever a link building or SEO strategy to categorically rule out, this would be it. Services like these tend to rely on link farms or really low-quality “news” websites which link out to as many different services as possible. The content on these sorts of websites is often gibberish and the links themselves are worse than useless because they can often have a negative impact on your website’s rankings, rather than no impact at all. In short, it’s just not worth the risk of landing yourself with a Google Penalty. Google’s Stance on Link Buying Google is against most kinds of link building, though many SEO experts will point out that the data doesn’t match Google’s overtures. However, Google is particularly against the exchange of money in return for links. This exchange of money can happen in many ways, and Google doesn’t say that all these so-called “link schemes” will definitely lead to a negative impact on a website’s search engine rankings. Rather, it says that these schemes “can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results” (emphasis ours). The takeaway from this should be that the more direct and obvious an exchange of money is in return for a link, the less natural it is. The less natural it is, the more likely Google is to punish it. The reason Google uses “can” and not “will” is that there are some link building strategies which — while they involve money — are not as direct as paid-for links. What’s the Difference Between Follow and No Follow Links? We’ve already seen the difference between internal and external links. But there are also follow links and no follow links. No follow is an attribute that can be applied to a backlink by webmasters. It looks like this: rel=”nofollow” It is used to tell search engines “don’t follow this specific link”. But what does this mean? I’m going to quote Google exactly here: “In general, we don’t follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links.” On the surface, it looks like Google does not count no follow links at all. But they’ve qualified everything they’ve said by putting the phrase “in general” ahead of the rest. Why would they say this unless sometimes they did follow these links? We can only assume that Google sometimes does follow these links — or plans to follow them in the future. When Are No Follow Links Used? Google gives us three examples of when they recommend using the no follow attribute: 1. Untrusted content. All links to sites that you don’t trust should be no follow. Let’s say your website contains a forum which allows users to post links. These links should be no followed automatically to prevent abuse. Paid links. Google asks webmasters not to try and influence rankings through buying links. If your site does contain some form of paid-for links, such as advertisements, Google asks you to make this link no follow. Links that needn’t be crawled. When Google (and other search engines) matches searchers with websites, it’s not actually using a live version of the web. Instead, it’s using its index, which is Google’s approximation of the web. To build its index, Google sends out “robots” known as “spiders” to “crawl” the web. As you might imagine, it’s very important that Google’s spiders are able to crawl your website! If they don’t, users won’t be able to find you on Google. Google’s spiders don’t crawl endlessly; they have a limited budget. This might mean that they are unable to fully crawl large sites. If you have links to something like a member’s area on your website, then there’s no point having the spiders waste their budget crawling that link as they won’t be able to sign in without a username and a password. You can use the no follow attribute to signal to the spiders that this link shouldn’t be crawled, which frees up their budget to be used elsewhere.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

What is shared hosting

Shared hosting definition

Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where a single physical server hosts multiple sites. Many users utilize the resources on a single server, which keeps the costs low. Users each get a section of a server in which they can host their website files. Shared servers can hosts hundreds of users. Each customer using the shared hosting platform’s server has access to features like databases, monthly traffic, disk space, email accounts, FTP accounts and other add-ons offered by the host. System resources are shared on-demand by customers on the server, and each gets a percentage of everything from RAM and CPU, and other elements such as the single MySQL server, Apache server, and mail server.

Shared hosting offers the most cost-effective way to get a site online since the costs of maintaining a server are split among all the users. This style of hosting is best suited for a small website or blog that doesn’t require advanced configurations or high bandwidth. Since shared hosting is not sufficient for sites with high traffic, high volume sites should look to VPS or dedicated hosting solutions instead.

Let’s start out with a metaphor.

Shared hosting is like using public transportation (stick with us here).

Traveling by bus is an alternative to driving your own private vehicle. This comes with benefits; it is both more environmentally-friendly and can be more cost-effective. But, given the public nature of a bus, you are sharing this mode of transport, so it might be packed at times. The bus will occasionally end up taking more stops between point “A” to point “B,” and your travel time may be increased overall, but it’s still low-cost, convenient, and reliable.

This is how shared hosting works. The resources on a server are shared with other users, but you can still enjoy many of the resources. Reputable web hosting companies (like Namecheap) have policies that govern fair use to make sure everyone has access to a fair amount of the resources.

Shared hosting is an entry-level service capable of offering the amount of resources that a start up, local business, or personal site require. Many people new to the world of web hosting choose shared hosting. It’s popular because it’s the most cost-effective option. Since many people are sharing the resources of a server, individual user costs are kept low. The majority of shared hosting packages come with easy-to-use features such as a user-friendly control panel that allows you to upload your website files, create an email account and add databases for services that need them.

Yes, shared hosting is considered “entry level” by some professionals, but for the majority of sites, it’s more than adequate for their needs.

How does shared hosting work?

As we’ve stated, shared hosting is where a single server hosts multiple sites. The numbers can range from a few hundred to several thousand depending on the available hard drive space, RAM, and processing speed. This hosting is on a machine that’s identical to a dedicated server, but its resources are used by a much greater number of clients. Each website user account's files and any applications are stored in separate partitions on the server, and each has its own file directory tree. Users don’t have access to either the root or to each other's files. All accounts on the shared server share computing resources of the web server.

Advantages of shared web hosting

There are numerous benefits to opting for shared hosting. Let’s take a look at the fundamental features of shared web hosting:

It’s less expensive

Shared hosting provides the most cost-effective hosting solution. With many people contributing towards the costs of the server, the hosting company’s costs are distributed between them. Basic plans start at around $30 a year while you can expect to pay over $100 a year for premium plans with unmetered disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited websites.

It’s flexible

New online ventures can begin with a shared plan and upgrade without hassle as their site grows.

It’s easy to self-manage

Shared hosting is simple and straightforward to set up. Most providers offer a control panel to manage your website. This simplified user interface manages the administrative tasks and any monitoring duties associated with running a server.

You can host multiple domains

You can install numerous websites in your user directory; you just need to make sure the domains you purchase are connected to it. An example would be one person having different domains for their personal website, their hobbyist blog, and their business. Shared hosting is perfect for this.

It’s professionally managed

Shared hosting is relatively low maintenance. Your host will take the headache out of running your server by taking care of basic server administrative tasks. Unless you are prepared to run your own server, web management is the most convenient option. Leave it to professionals to worry about your web hosting - With shared hosting you can expect professional technical assistance for everything from hardware upgrades and maintenance, software updates, DDoS attacks, network outages, etc.

It can host dynamic websites

Websites that look different according to who is browsing are known as dynamic. Popular dynamic websites include Facebook, Quora and Twitter, and dynamic content management systems (CMSs) include WordPress and Joomla!. Dynamic sites and CMSs use alternative programming languages such as Perl, Python or PHP, all of which can run on a shared server.

Things to consider

There are some important criteria to think about when choosing between shared hosting providers, and it goes beyond just pricing. You should look for the following characteristics of a shared hosting package.


When you are looking for a shared hosting plan, make sure you have certain uptime guarantees. The absolute minimum you should accept from a host is 99%.


Sites sharing a server don't affect the speed and performance of each other using the shared hosting at Namecheap, but this can’t be said of many web hosting companies.


Factor your anticipated website traffic into your decision. It’s not easy to make projections about web traffic, but if for any reason you expect a large amount of traffic, shared hosting might not be suitable since you might be breaking their fair use policy.


Resources are always limited, this is the basic premise of the entire field of economics and applies to shared hosting. When choosing shared hosting, check the fine print for what is within their fair use policy. It will cause problems for others if your site gets huge amounts of traffic, if your visitors download masses of content, or a script causes the server to slow down for instance. The podcast website Frogpants experienced problems because visitors were downloading and streaming big files for example.

Limited customization

If you have any special technical requirements, this might not be the plan for you. You aren’t allowed to use customized software. For example, if you need to run an alternative operating system like FreeBSD, or PostgreSQL script for your database, you'll need your own server, if your shared hosting plan doesn't offer these. The best option, in this case, will be a virtual or physical server as most use MySQL and PHP since most popular CMS engines and blog builders are designed to work with them.


Just because this style of hosting is inexpensive, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect support. Look out for a host with support agents working around the clock and available by the means you will find most helpful, such as phone, email or live chat.

Above all else, you must keep in mind that you’re sharing. You share a server with many other customers, all of whom have, ideally, small sites. Since these sites are relatively lightweight, they don’t require many resources so the server won’t feel the strain of hosting them all together.

More Things to Consider

The style of hosting might be the same but the features provided differ from host to host. To narrow down your options, choose a host that provides the features that you need:

Disk Space

This refers to the available hard drive space a hosting company provides to users. If your site is particularly image-intensive or features audio files for download, you’ll want to make sure you have enough space available. Monitor the amount of disk space used or how much bandwidth you are using via your host’s control panel.

Control Panels

Make sure your host includes a control panel with their shared hosting plan. It’s basically a web-based interface allowing users to manage their server settings from the comfort of their web browser.

One-click Install Applications

For seamless integration with services like WordPress CMS or a website builder such as Weebly, go with a host that offers easy install facilities.

Is Shared Hosting Right for Me?

Shared hosting is the right choice for your site if you:

  • Have little experience with web hosting

  • Want to keep costs down

  • Are designing a small business website, or something for friends or family

  • Don’t require access to extensive web programming

  • Are studying applications like Joomla or WordPress

  • Are running a small business or startup

  • Are experimenting with web design and coding

There’s a lot that you don’t know when it comes to starting a website for the first time, but there are some things you can count on. When your site is newly launched, chances are you won’t attract masses of traffic unless you plan on launching with a major marketing campaign. In this case, it’s unlikely that a new site will need much in the way of bandwidth. Additionally, it’s hard to predict the how much space you’ll need unless you are 100% certain on the size of the content and images you will produce. Shared hosting offers a flexible solution to these unknowns

Getting Started with Shared Hosting

The following article will get familiar with your new Shared Hosting account, including the Account Center, our world-renowned support department, and the rest of the tools that come with your new service.

Advanced Support can help!Need assistance with your server, including migrating your site? Additional assistance is available via Advanced Support, our premium services division. For more information on what Advanced Support can do for you, please click here.

Account Center

The Account Center is the main secure interface to manage your domain and Shared Hosting. This is how you will log into your Media Temple account and manage your various services. For information on the basic functions of the Account Center, please see:

First Time Setup

The following will give you a quick run-through of setting up your service after first purchasing Shared Hosting.

  • Log into the Media Temple Account Center.
  • Click on the ADMIN button associated to your Shared Hosting server.ac-1.png
  • If this is your first time accessing your server, you will be asked to enter a domain name. Type your desired domain name, then click Update.ac-2.png
  • Select a data center location.ac-3.png
  • Select if you'd like to install WordPress. This can be done at a later time if you select Not now, thanks.ac-4.png
  • If WordPress was selected, enter a WordPress admin username & password. Then select Next.ac-5.png
  • It may take a few minutes for your service to provision.
  • Next, you will be shown a list of DNS to point your domain to. You may want to make a note or screenshot this information, as this will be necessary to connect your domain to the server and push your website live. You can however, complete this at another time and simply select I'm done, continue setup.ac-7.png
  • Once your setup is complete, you can continue to the Dashboard to work on your website.
  • Logging into cPanel

    cPanel is the control panel that is used to perform a number of primary functions on your server. For information on how to access cPanel please see:

    Setting up FTP/SSH

    The following guides will show you how you can set up your SSH and FTP users:

    Create email accounts

    The Shared Servers come with email capabilities. This article walks you through the steps for creating email users through cPanel. Once your email account is created, we have guides on how to add it to your favorite email client.

    MySQL database

    Databases on the Shared Servers can be quickly accessed by following the instructions below:

    Site migration

    Moving a site to Shared Hosting? Check out our migration guides below:


    Backups can be quickly made through cPanel. For detailed instructions see:

    Pointing your DNS to Media Temple

    After you've finished setting up your website, you may need to update your DNS to connect your website to the the Shared Hosting server. You can find information on that process below:

    24/7 Phone and Chat Support

    We are a true 24/7/365 company. What this means to you is that you have total, around-the-clock access to our renowned Customer Support Department.

    Google’s Mueller on Shared Hosting and Ranking Impact

    A recent SEO study set out to discover if there was a negative impact on ranking on sites that were on shared hosting.

    Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion of the test results.

    Research on Web Hosting and Ranking

    An SEO company set out to do a long term study on whether shared hosting negatively affects rankings.

    The study authors reveal they created the study from concern of “potentially harmful SEO effects” from shared hosting.:

    “Concerned about the potentially harmful SEO effects that hosting a website on one of these shared hosting options could have on the websites of thousands of business owners, we decided to run a technical SEO experiment to find out what effect, if any, it had.”

    The idea they were testing is if low-cost hosting attracts low-quality websites that can negatively impact other sites hosted on the same server.

    The report authors suggest that Google could use the presence of spammy sites on a shared server as a negative quality signal because they were all in the same neighborhood.

    Here is their hypothesis:

    “With cheaper shared hosting solutions usually attracting many lower-quality websites (like spam and PBN websites), we wondered if it is possible that Google’s algorithms sees using this kind of hosting as part of the pattern of a lower-quality website.”

    So it appears that the authors are testing a hypothesis that is not based on any actual evidence or statement from Google.

    It’s just an opinion expressed without basis and, as you will see, it’s also based on a misinterpretation of what a “bad neighborhood” actually is.

    The article went viral on Twitter and Facebook, with many prominent SEOs promoting it.

    Shared Host Study Methodology

    The study authors went to great lengths to shield their websites from any outside interference.

    They assured that nothing affected the results of the study other than the natural events of releasing them all at the same time for indexing by Google.

    The methodology relied on an old research approach that uses a made-up keyword that has never previously existed online in print. The search term the created is the made-up artificial keyword, hegenestio.

    Results of the Shared Host Research Study

    The results of the study confirmed their pre-existing hypothesis. They discovered that shared hosting can negatively affect search rankings.

    Study Authors Claim “Detrimental Effects” from Cheap Shared Hosting

    According to the research authors:

    “The results of this experiment suggests that cheap shared hosting options can in fact have a detrimental effect on the organic performance and rankings of the websites hosted there if your website ends up being hosted alongside lower-quality and potentially spammy ones (providing all websites being observed are otherwise on a level playing field).”

    Study Authors Disavowed Their Own Findings?

    Curiously, while the study authors first say that shared hosting “can in fact have a detrimental effect on the organic performance and rankings,” they actually disavow the bold statements in a following paragraph by stating:

    “It is important to note that these results don’t show what effect the type of hosting you use when setting up a website would have in an actual SERP for a keyword with real competitors.”

    What’s going on, right?

    They first say that cheap shared hosting “in fact” can have a detrimental effect and then they say that the results “don’t show what effect” hosting will have in actual search results.

    It kind of sounds like they’re trying to sound the alarm that “cheap hosting” can wreck your rankings while also saying, well maybe not.

    Report Claims Benefits of Dedicated Server & IP Address

    Then in a subsequent paragraph they seemingly contradict themselves again by asserting that the study does “show the effect the type of hosting you use” by writing:

    “Hosting your website on a dedicated server and IP address has many benefits and now, according to the experiment data, ranking higher in the SERPs could very well be one of them.”

    The SEO research authors hedge their statements with words like “could very well” which makes the statements less conclusive.

    The statements that shared hosting “can in fact have a detrimental effect” on rankings and in a follow-up paragraph that the study “results don’t show what effect” shared hosting will have in “actual SERPs” seem contradictory. 

    Google’s John Mueller Comments on Study

    Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller tweeted that the research was flawed and did not reflect how Google actually ranked websites.

    Mueller asserted that research based on artificial websites (a reference to the made-up keyword used in the research) are flawed.

    “Artificial websites like this are pretty much never indicative of any particular effect in normal Google Search. …it’s not useful data.

    Host where it makes sense for you.”

    Cyrus Shepard challenged Mueller to back up his statement:

    “Could you present us with more useful data then to back up your claims?”

    John Mueller tweeted this response: 

    “Are you saying that what works for made up keywords on artificial websites will work for a website in an active niche?

    That seems like quite a stretch. (Even aside from the technical aspects of “what is shared hosting anyway” — AWS is shared hosting)”

    Google’s Mueller followed up with this tweet:

    “I’m not aware of any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account.

    Look at Blogger, there are great sites hosted there that do well (ignoring on-page limitations,etc), there are terrible sites hosted there. It’s all the same infrastructure, the same IP addresses.”

    Problem With SEO Studies Based on Made-up Words

    A problem with studies that use nonsense words is in the way Google’s algorithms responds to non-existent keyword phrases is different from it responds to actual keyword phrases

    Google’s algorithms attempt to understand the meaning of a word. It relies on language to rank webpages.

    Without language or understanding, Google’s algorithm can’t kick in the way it normally does.

    The only thing left is for Google to resort to simple word matching. And that’s not Google’s regular ranking algorithm.

    So it’s kind of stretch to assume that the results of a test that uses a made-up word is going to reflect what Google’s regular ranking algorithm does.

    That’s an important caveat against the usefulness of the study.

    Related: SEO-Friendly Hosting: 5 Things to Look for in a Hosting Company

    Research Authors Definition of Bad Neighborhood

    A problem with the test is that it appears that the authors may misunderstand what the SEO term “bad neighborhood” means.

    According to the article:

    “BAD NEIGHBOURHOODIn the context of where a website is hosted, a “bad neighbourhood” is commonly referred to as a host, IP address and/or other virtual location where a collection of low-quality, penalised and/or potentially problematic websites (e.g. porn, gambling, pharma) are hosted.”

    That is an incorrect statement.

    A bad neighborhood has always been understood within the context of linking patterns and the spamminess of the sites being linked to.

    In the past, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines referenced bad neighborhoods within the context of linking patterns:

    “Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.”

    Former Googler Matt Cutts used the phrase “bad neighborhoods” himself and it was also within the context of linking patterns.

    For example, in this blog post from 2006, he explains why some sites were dropped from Google’s index following an update called Big Daddy.  Matt uses the phrase, “bad neighborhood” in the context of links.

    “People have been asking for more details on “pages dropping from the index” so I thought I’d write down a brain dump of everything I knew about, to have it all in one place.

    …The sites… were sites where our algorithms had very low trust in the inlinks or the outlinks of that site. Examples that might cause that include excessive reciprocal links, linking to spammy neighborhoods on the web, or link buying/selling.”

    The phrase “bad neighborhood” is commonly understood to be within the context of linking patterns, not web hosting or IP addresses.

    The context is never the web host or IP address, contrary to the misinformed assumption made by the study authors.

    This means that the underlying assumption by the study authors, that web hosting is related to “bad neighborhoods” is incorrect.

    Cyrus Shepard Changes His Mind About His Tweet

    Cyrus Shepard changed his mind the next day about his original tweet. I admire people willing to change their minds.

    On the following day he tweeted:

    “So a bit of a mea culpa…

    @JohnMu was 100% correct to say we shouldn’t conclude “all shared hosting is bad”

    That’s not what the data says, and my tweet extrapolated too far (most shared hosting is fine – you’d still likely avoid the cheap/spammy operators)

    The data though…”

    Research Studies Can Be Problematic

    There were many problems with the research, beginning with the fact that the authors appeared to have a bias in favor of a specific outcome.

    Having a preconceived opinion can set up a situation called Confirmation Bias, which is a flaw that causes people to see evidence of what they believe and ignore evidence that doesn’t conform

    I asked Jeff Ferguson (@CountXero), Adjunct Professor at UCLA and Partner & Head of Production at Amplitude Digital (@AmplitudeAgency) about this study and he offered this opinion:

    “Hosting and the bad neighborhood theory has kicked around SEO circles for years but I never felt like it held much water.

    While the Reboot test went to some extraordinary lengths to exclude known possibilities such as site speed, I still think it suffers from confirmation bias.”

    I highly recommend an article that Jeff authored on the topic of SEO research, Do We Have the Math to Truly Decode Google’s Algorithms?

    Insights and SEO Studies

    SEO studies can be problematic. Although the SEOs behind this latest study went to great lengths to firewall the test to isolate it from anything that would bias the results, the basis of the study itself was flawed

    Firewalling the test didn’t matter because SEO studies based on non-existent keywords can not offer insights into how Google’s algorithms actually work, for the reasons I outlined above and as was confirmed by Google’s John Mueller.

    My professional experience with shared hosting is that it generally has no effect on the ability of a site to rank. That’s not my opinion, that’s a statement of fact from my actual experience, over twenty years of experience.

    The only time shared hosting becomes problematic is when a site becomes very successful. That’s why I also pay for dedicated servers.

    Shared servers cannot handle ultra high traffic websites. I can say that with confidence because I’ve been kicked off of a shared server because my site’s high traffic slowed the server to the point that everyone’s site was throwing 500 errors. So you know… speaking from experience.

    If you’re just starting out or don’t have excessive traffic, it’s perfectly fine to put it on a shared web host then upgrade when you outgrow it.

    In my professional experience, based on what I know, I agree with what Mueller suggested, that publishers should host “where it makes sense” for them.

    Friday, September 25, 2020

    Why Pinterest and Google are More Connected than Brands Realize

    Did you know that Pinterest and Google have similarities? And that it affects how brands use the platform?

    Most marketers consider Pinterest to be a social media platform. Google, on the other hand, is a search engine.

    So, what is the connection between such differing channels? More than you realize.

    If you want to create a Pinterest strategy that works, you need to keep that connection in mind. We explain how.

    How Pinterest and Google Intersect

    Pinterest doesn’t have the same timeline layout that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram do—posts on Pinterest are displayed according to one’s interests, rather than the time they are shared.

    Content that is years old could appear on a user’s timeline because of other posts that they viewed, clicked on, or searched for.

    That is where the functionality of Pinterest begins to mirror Google’s.

    Your aim should be to rank on keywords on Pinterest, just as you would do on Google.

    For each piece of visual content that you share on Pinterest, create a keyword list for the terms you want that content to rank for. This will help you drive traffic to your site, and boost sales and revenue.

    So, how do you do this?

    Start by creating an SEO strategy for Pinterest. To find keywords to target on the channel, type in your keyword of choice in the search bar.



    The channel recommends related searches so you can find more longtail keywords to target—it also helps you understand users’ search intent for those topics.

    Another way to find Pinterest keywords is to use the ad platform. You will need a Pinterest Business account to access this.

    Double-check with Google Keyword Planner to determine how popular those searches are on the internet.

    Once you have your keywords, give each pin a title and description that contains your keyword. The process is similar to creating blogs—you have to optimize your content for Pinterest the way you would for Google.

    Now that you know how to use keywords on Pinterest, how can you use that strategy to create pins that will boost engagement?

    Here are the kinds of pins and Pinterest marketing ideas that brands can adopt.

    Blog Posts

    Redirect Pinterest users to your blog posts with an attractive blog header pin.

    While you would have designed a header for the post, it may be too abstract for users to understand.

    That is why brands need to design new content—with attractive visuals and text that describes the subject matter—to give users a better idea of what to expect in the blog, like this example.

    Charts and Graphs

    Data visualizations created for written content can be repurposed for Pinterest—resize it for the 2:3 Pinterest aspect to improve engagement.

    Because of the visual nature of Pinterest, a captivating graph will draw attention and increase the chances of people clicking through to read more.

    Brands should return to these charts to update the data—keeping the data relevant for audiences increases engagement.

    How-To Pins

    DIY, how-to posts, and images from behind the scenes are popular pins that brands can regularly create.

    The images and videos should be high-resolution—and the descriptions should share enough information about the content to keep the user engaged.

    Lead Magnets

    Lead generation tools such as white papers, sales ebooks, and posters for upcoming webinars make for great vertical content on Pinterest.

    The covers of these documents should be incentive enough for users—creative white paper designs make for beautiful content and encourage people to click through for more information.


    Infographics are an excellent visual for Pinterest—the vertical orientation is ideal for the platform.

    The amount of information these graphics include also make them engaging for users, as you can see from this example.

    Source: Venngage

    Keep the Pinterest size in mind when sharing infographics on the channel. You don’t want the preview to crop out important content.

    Product Images

    Businesses that sell products and services can highlight them on Pinterest using visuals.

    Product marketing can be a draw for shoppers on the channel if brands take attractive and high-quality images.

    Services are harder to convey in imagery, but brands can sell a lifestyle through their images to highlight how their services uplift the lives of users.

    Seasonal Pins

    Seasonal marketing campaigns can be leveraged on Pinterest to reach new audiences.

    Users who are not aware of your brand can still find you when they’re looking for seasonal content.

    Key Takeaways: Optimize Pinterest Pins the Way You Would Search Content

    Use your SEO strategy as a linchpin for optimizing your Pinterest marketing. Find popular keywords to target and create content around those terms.

    Once you have the keywords, you can start building a marketing strategy that will increase views and engage

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